Supervisor of elections

Deborah Clark is vying for a fourth term as the county's elections supervisor in a rematch against her 2008 opponent. Jack Killingsworth lost in his run for the post four years ago as a Democrat. This time around, he is running with no party affiliation, hoping a nonpartisan approach and wealth of technological knowledge can help him overcome Clark's decades of election experience. Dan Sullivan, Times staff writer

Deborah Clark, 63

Pinellas County supervisor of elections

Jack Killingsworth, 78

retired electrical engineer

RepublicanPartyRunning with no party affiliation (registered Democrat)
Clark began working in the Supervisor of Elections Office in 1978 and served as a deputy administrator from 1982 through June 2000, when she was appointed to the office's top post by Gov. Jeb Bush. She was elected later that year and was re-elected with no opposition in 2004. In 2008, she defeated Killingsworth for re-election to a third term. In 2005, Clark was designated a Certified Elections and Registration Administrator from the Election Center, a nonprofit organization for government employees who manage elections and voter registration. She has also taught election administration classes for new municipal clerks at the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University.Experience A second-time candidate for supervisor of elections, Killingsworth has never held an elected office. He also previously ran for Pinellas County School Board in 2006 and lost. He points to his experience in the design and development of computers for aerospace and defense applications and his ownership and management of an electronics consulting company to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of how to run an elections office.
Associate of arts degree, 1982, St. Petersburg CollegeEducationBachelor's degree in electrical engineering, 1961, Georgia Institute of Technology; master's of business administration, 1978, Florida Institute of Technology
Clark has been a vocal skeptic of Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to purge potential noncitizens from the state's voter rolls. In April, when the state produced a list of 36 Pinellas County voters to be purged, Clark's office removed two people who confirmed they were not citizens, but refused to remove six others who were determined to be citizens. She sent the remaining list back to the state with a request that officials provide documentation verifying the reason for each voter's removal. A second list, released by Scott in September, included the two people Clark already removed, plus three additional names without documentation verifying their noncitizen status. Clark questions the timing of the purge efforts. If voters are indeed not citizens, then they should be removed, she says. But she refuses to touch the voter lists without verification of such claims from the state.Position on the state's effort to purge noncitizens from voter rolls.Killingsworth calls the efforts of Gov. Rick Scott and others "voter suppression of the worst type." Despite Clark's reluctance to remove voters from Pinellas County's database without proper documentation from the state, he accuses her of being complicit in efforts to deny people the right to vote.
Clark closed most of the county's early voting locations in 2008 because she says the sites were too costly and did not increase voter turnout. Three locations remained open. Her office has promoted mail-in ballots, which she says are more cost-effective, and have been one reason she has managed to cut election-related costs by 30 percent in the last six years. She points to voter turnout numbers in the most recent primary election, in which Pinellas saw higher turnout rates than neighboring counties, as proof that fewer early voting sites in Pinellas do not effect the number of people voting. With this year's lengthy ballot, she says voting by mail might be more convenient for many voters.Thoughts regarding Pinellas County's emphasis on mail-in ballots as opposed to offering more early voting locations.Clark's decision to limit the number of early voting locations has been among Killingsworth's chief criticisms of her in this election and in 2008. He says Clark has pushed mail-in ballots because the method tends to draw more Republican voters, whereas early voting draws more Democrats. If elected, he says he would open more early voting locations. He says he would also designate more polling locations in public buildings, such as libraries and city halls.
Clark says she has learned from her past mistakes and always has a "plan B" and "plan C" in the event of any unforeseen election-night mishaps. On the night of the primary election, a piece of computer equipment, known as a "gateway," failed to route election results from telephone lines into a computer server. The mishap forced her staff to enact their backup plan and deliver the data by hand at local elections offices throughout the county. Since then, they have remedied the technological issues, she says.Thoughts on the office's technological mishap on primary election night and prior errors under current leadership.Killingsworth says the primary election mishap is an indication of Clark's inability to manage a computer-based voting system. He points to errors and gaffes that Clark's office has dealt with in previous elections as further evidence of her flawed management ability. He says these include the mishandling of ballots in the 2004 election, resulting in the failure to count some absentee ballots.
Home, retirement and pension accounts, checking and savings accountsAssetsHome, stock, retirement and bank accounts
MortgageLiabilitiesNone.
Elections supervisor salaryIncomeIRA distributions and Social Security benefits
Married to Richard A. Clark. Two children.PersonalMarried to Robbie Killingsworth. Three children. He served as an electronics technician in the Navy during the Korean War and the Cold War.
NoneWebsite www.jackkillingsworth.com
dclarksoe@verizon.netEmailjack@jackkillingsworth.com

About the job: The supervisor of elections oversees all county, state and local elections held in Pinellas County, assists local candidates with filing procedures and registers new voters. The supervisor serves a four-year term and is paid $128,161 a year.

Pinellas County supervisor of elections: Deborah Clark (R), Jack Killingsworth (no party)

Deborah Clark is vying for a fourth term as the county's elections supervisor in a rematch against her 2008 opponent. Jack Killingsworth lost in his run for the post four years ago as a Democrat. This time around, he is running with no party affiliation, hoping a nonpartisan approach and wealth of technological knowledge can help him overcome Clark's decades of election experience.

Pinellas County supervisor of elections: Deborah Clark (R), Jack Killingsworth (no party) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:39pm]

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